Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Heart!

I've been following Krysten's blog for awhile now. She's truly an inspiration. She has a pacemaker & had a mastectomy due do the BRCA gene & she still runs marathons & does triathlons. Seriously, there really isn't an excuse not to exercise. Krysten lost her dad not long ago to heart disease so she's organized the Happy Heart Project to raise money for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Along with all of things she's doing she's also hosting a Virtual 5K. You know - you make a donation, then run a 5K where ever you are this week & then you're entered to win a ton of prizes! Very cool right??  So I signed up. I'm running the Corporate Cup 5K Saturday but I ran this morning too.

I haven't ran in over a week. Not ideal & I REALLY don't like to skip that many runs but stuff happens. I did walk 2 mi. on the treadmill while at the beach. Lame, I know but at least it was something I got up bright & early. Well, early but not bright since it was 4:45 am. Anywho, I got it done. In the pic on the left you can see (if you have good eyes) that my average heart rate was only 158. I remember when I first started running it was always in the 190's. Definitely a good thing!

My run was definitely slower than I would've liked - I average 11:21/mi. BUT I'm ok with it. A 5K is a 5K. The last half mile I did some speed work. I don't do it very often & it was actually more about getting finished with the run so I could some Powerade! I love Grape Powerade Zero. It's sweetened with Splenda & I know a lot of people think it's the devil but I don't. So my last mile with sprints was 9:32. If  only I could run a whole race at that pace! I also didn't have sunburn issues. If you remember I probably have 3rd degree burns on the top of my feet. I'm reminded of just how painful it is every time I step into the bathtub!

Then it was home to stretch & foam roll. I used to never do this. I didn't start until I trained for the Half & then I did it regularly & I definitely think it makes a difference with soreness & recovery.

So if you're looking for a good exercise/health related blog check out The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail.


Monday, April 21, 2014

The Beach!!

Last week was pretty crazy but tax season is officially over so work will calm down. We had our end of the season crawfish boil Tuesday evening & they were really good.

Wednesday night I had to pack. We all know I'm NOT a fan of packing. Mother Nature can't make up her mind whether it's spring, summer or winter therefor I had to pack for all of the above. Really annoying!!

No, I don't need all of this stuff & I knew I didn't need all of this stuff but I didn't know what I WOULD need. So it all went with us.

We left at 2:00 on Thursday & I didn't think  we were ever going to get out of Louisiana. Something you may not know about the Baton Rouge area - TRAFFIC IS RIDICULOUS!! I ended up napping which was a surprise to no one. I slept through the entire state of Mississippi.

Dean found these at Sam's.

This one is Fizzy Pink Lemonade but they also have Pineapple & both were really good.

I was able to stretch out in the back seat of the truck. Jackie was already at the beach so it was just me, Dean & Dennis for the ride over.
Side note - compression socks are so awesome!!

Once we finally got to the condo we went to dinner at Franco's. It was DELICIOUS!!! Seafood lasagna was amazeballs!! We also made a little trip to the grocery store. I have serious issues with vacation eating.
These happened. Along with corn dip & Tostitos & Cool Ranch Doritos. There was also Dr. Pepper, mimosa's, etc.

It rained all night Thursday night & for the majority of the day Friday so we went shopping.
We may have gone a little overboard but we got some good deals!

We had lunch at Lulu's.
This was the Loopity Lu & it was FANTASTIC!!! I may have taken a picture of the menu so we can recreate it at home. We also had the most amazing fried okra. YUMMMM! Dean & I did share the seafood platter - so good & we actually had a to go box.

Friday night our plan was to eat at Cosmo's & then go to the FloraBama. Well, the wait at Cosmo's was an hour & a half & two people whose name's rhyme with Mean & Mennis didn't want to wait. We ended up at some place called Diamond Jim & Mrs Betty or something. People were leaving the restaurant & they were from Louisiana & said the steak "couldn't be better". The guys thought they could be trusted. They were from Louisiana after all. Well, since it was Friday there was no steak for Dean & I. The shrimp po-boy was good & Dean's fish was good. Not great but certainly not awful. The steak that Dennis got was NOT good. Like a bite of aluminum foil not good. Oh well. Live & learn.

Next stop FloraBama.
There were several bands playing & lots of people watching.

Saturday was BEAUTIFUL!!! Really breezy but beautiful!

All was good until I realized that I'd forgotten to put sunscreen on my feet. The tops of my feet are now very burned. It wouldn't be a beach trip if I didn't have some sort of sunburn. I try very hard but it always happens. We stayed out there all day & it was so relaxing.

Our view from the balcony. So pretty!

We decided to try Cosmo's again. The wait was only an hour.

You have to have a cosmo at Cosmo's! We were actually seated in 45 minutes & it was so worth it. I had the Chilean Sea Bass cooked in banana leaves with grilled veggies & Parmesan Risotto. So, so good!

I'd forgotten how much I like Orange Beach. There are so many different restaurants close by & lots of things to do. We'll be back in 3 weeks with my brother, sis-in-law & Logan. I can't wait!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy Happy Day!!

It's Tax Day & I know for a lot of people that's not a happy day but for me it is. I work for a CPA Firm now & tax day means no more working Saturday's (I only had 2 but still) & back to getting off at 2:00 on Friday's. That's what I'm most excited about! Also, we get off early today & we have a crawfish boil tonight.

Friday morning I got up & ran.
3.50 miles in 38:34 for an average 9:35/mile. That time is good for me. Training for the half has made me faster when I run shorter distances.

During Lent I usually have a salad for lunch on Friday's but I wasn't in the mood so I decided to make some tuna fish. I buy the individual servings of Sweet & Spicy tuna. I was about to get the mayo out of the fridge when I remembered reading about substituting an avocado for mayo when making tuna. I happened to have an avocado on hand so I tried it.
It was a little different than mayo but so so good! I didn't take a pic of th actual tuna because let's be honest, tuna doesn't look all that appetizing. I used one pack of tuna, sweet relish, half of an avocado & a boiled egg. It made enough for my sandwich & I had a little extra that I ate on whole wheat crackers.

Saturday I had to work. It ended up only being 7:30-noon. When I left I stopped & got a chicken shawarma salad. The firm provides lunch on Saturday's but I would've had to wait around for it & I was all about getting out of there.
It was HUGE! So so so good too. I can't believe I just tried this a few months ago. After lunch I had a mani & pedi.

I tried a new place just because my place is always so busy & I wasn't in the mood to wait around. The new place was good but they didn't have my signature color - OPI's "I'll Take The Cake". I went with "Bubble Bath". It's the light color on the right. The color on the left is "My Address is Hollywood" & I have it on my toes. It's really pretty.  We leave for the beach Thursday so I needed good nails!

After Mass Saturday Dean & I stopped for our weekly visit to Caliente.

Jose was there so I was able to get a Jose Special. So good. Some of our friends showed up & we stayed for awhile listening to the band.

Sunday was run a day.

4 miles in 42:20 for an average 10:36 mile. I burned 404 calories.I was a little slower today. Probably because of the temp.  After my run I walked.

2.26 miles in 38:51 & I burned another 305 calories. My heart rate was up after the run. The temp was in the 70's & I thought for sure summer was on its way. Especially, when I went to Trader Joe's later & the temp was 87. Yeh, well, not so much. It was in the 40's this morning & will be in the 30's tomorrow. UGH! Once I got home I went ahead & did a weight workout too.

While I was out I decided to treat myself to Starbuck's. I wanted a frap but decided to make good choices so I had unsweetened green tea. I really love it.

I had a wild hair Sunday. I cooked. Dean grilled before going to the LSU game & when he got home he hauled around dirt & mulch. I'd seen a recipe for coconut chicken on a blog that looked easy so I tried it.

This is what the chicken looked like when it came out of the oven.

Here it is with the pinapple salsa & asparagus. It turned out good. I'd definitely make it again. Did I mention it was easy? Flop your chicken in flour, then in egg white, then coconut, then bake. Can't get a whole lot easier. For the salsa you just mix pineapples & the juice with chili sauce & cilantro. I'm not a huge fan of cilantro so I used green onions. It's only 268 calories per serving too. It'll be another few months before I cook again. I've mentioned that I don't enjoy it. I also tend to make lots of mistakes & ask a ton of questions but neither of those things happened with this dish so I'm taking that as a sign to cool it for awhile. If I get too carried away I'll screw something up for sure.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Head Hurts!

Which is why I didn't give any thought to the title. It's been hurting all day & it's annoying. Really annoying. So what's happened since Thursday?  I got up early Friday morning & worked out. After work we went to LSU's game. They won. From our seats we can see Tiger Stadium.

You can't really tell but that yellow sign in the background says"Tiger Stadium". I had to work Saturday. I thought it was just going to be a few hours but I ended up work until 2:00. We went to Mass & to eat at Caliente but it was getting cold, there was a threat of rain & it was windy so I went home while Dean went to the LSU game. I had really good intentions & was going to work out. Yeh, that didn't happen. Sunday I skipped the game & once again, did not work out. I should've ran but it was cold & windy & I couldn't make myself go. It was raining Monday morning so no run then either.

Monday evening I had a wake to go to & Tuesday was the funeral. Tuesday morning I did get up & workout. The plan was to get up early & run Wednesday. That didn't happen. I was soooo tired I just couldn't drag myself out of bed. I made myself run when I got home from work.

Slowly but surely I'm increasing my mileage. It bums me out that I went from running 13 miles to 4. Oh well. Did I mention that I'm all signed up for the Louisiana Half Marathon again next year? It's in January 2015. I've said before that I really like running in the morning because I love to have it done & I feel better but I really liked running when I got home because it was a gorgeous day. A little warmer than I like when I run but it was beautiful.

When I got home Tuesday, this greeted me.

That's 6 yards of landscape mix. It doesn't look like a lot & I'm guessing we'll need more but it's what we have for now. All of our landscaping needs a little freshening up. Over time the dirt just packs down so much & I like the built up look best so it's time to add to it. Poor Dean will be doing this without my assistance because I have to work again Saturday.

Other than that there isn't anything going on. It's been rather dull. I'm currently counting down the days until April 15th when there won't be anymore Saturday work & we'll go back to getting off early on Friday's!!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

They're NOT Dead!!!

I was concerned. We've had a rough winter. Really rough. I was so scared that my plants were dead. Now I know there are tons of problems tthat are a lot worse  but A LOT of work & cash has gone into my yard so I get very bummed out when something dies. I'm still not over the snow from a few years ago that I didn't even get to skip work to enjoy that killed our large palm tree. Yes, I'm bitter. Back to the story. They're not dead!!!
The Hydrangea! I bought this right before Easter last year when it was gorgeous. Somehow I managed to keep it alive but I surely thought after the winter it was dead. Imagine how happy I was to see all this new growth! I'm not holding out any hope that it will actually bloom. That's ok. It's alive!         

We really didn't think our azaleas were going to make it. There was no sign of life but then buds started popping out.
They make me happy! Once they finish blooming they'll get a good shaping.

For the first time in weeks I've been able to run 3 times in a week. WOO HOO!! I ran Sunday evening. 3.1 mi. in 32:35, great time (for me). I don't particularly like running in the evenings. I don't particularly dislike it either. I don't like running in excessive heat & it's coming. I'm not complaining. I just know I need to get back to my early morning routine. Sometimes when I get home after work I'm in no mood to do anything. A morning run takes care of that too. I've said before I always run slower in the early mornings. I chalk it up to boredom from running around our "circle" so many times. It doesn't matter, I got it done. Tuesday morning I was up at 4:45 after having a really crappy night of sleep.

But I did it!!! When I got home from work I did an upper body workout with weights. Yesterday, I had a hair appointment so I knew there would be no working out & after not sleeping I needed that extra 45 mins. so yesterday was a rest day.

Back at it this morning.
I've been taking the stairs at work every morning. My office is on the 6th floor. 132 stairs. It's tough & definitely gets your heart rate up.  I plan to do a leg workout when I get home. I found it on a blog. She's a trainer & does this particular workout after a long run. We'll see how it goes.


Monday, March 31, 2014

The Weekend!

We had a weekend of no plans. We started off attempting to eat seafood at Mike Anderson's Friday but the wait was ridiculous at 6:00 so we just headed across the street to ole faithful aka Caliente. Jose, maker/inventor of the Jose Special, is a Manager now so he doesn't bar tend. He stopped by our table to say hey & I asked if he could make me one & he said of course. I haven't had one in awhile.
It was delicious. So delicious that I had 2! The rest of the crew came in at different times & by the end of the night we were all there.

Saturday we brought my car to have the oil changed & went to Sam's. Nothing too exciting. Allison was running errands in Baton Rouge so I went with her to The Big Squeezy for a Greena Colada.

It's really delicious!!! It wasn't on the menu the first time we had it but it is now so we can recreate it at home.
Allison also bought a bag of cheesy kale chips without the cheese.

They're organic & have all healthy stuff in them & nothing at all that's the least bit cheesy. We're very confused as to how they get the cheese taste. They were different but I liked them.
Once I got home Dean was watching the LSU game & we decided that we'd go to Mass Sunday morning. Mainly because I had a hat on & I didn't feel like washing my hair & fixing it. Lazy much? I ended up falling asleep on the sofa while reading & I slept for 3 HOURS. Seriously? It's not like I didn't sleep good the night before & I certainly didn't exert any energy Saturday. Once I woke up we went to dinner at Portico. They just opened a new location near us & I had a Groupon. I wasn't planning to have a drink since I had 2 Friday night. I don't like to drink my calories. But then I saw this on the menu.
An Arnold Palmer & More - it had vodka in it & was very good. Definitely a good summer drink.
There were lots of things on the menu that sounded good. I decided on the Low Country Shrimp. 
DELICIOUS!! Grilled shrimp in a really good sauce over cheese grits. You could get mashed potatoes instead of grits if you want. YUM!!! We'll definitely go back.

Sunday we went to Mass, Trader Joe's & Walmart, the usual routine. Yes, I even took another nap. This one only 45 mins. I just couldn't keep my eyes open. However, I made a deal with myself, I could nap but I had to run when I got up. I did.

Good run even though I felt a little nauseous. I probably should've eaten a snack before. I had a salad for lunch & I'm guessing that's not good fuel! Anyway, I felt good & was pleased with my time since the last time I ran was a week ago. The weather was gorgeous too.

While I was running Dean was grilling. 
Yes, it's only the 2 of us. We'll be eating leftovers for awhile & no I don't eat hot dogs.

How was your weekend?


Friday, March 28, 2014


This week went by fast for me. I'm not complaining. It means we're one week closer to tax season being over which means one week closer to getting off early on Fridays!

A few weeks ago when I ran the St. Patrick's Day run, Allison's friend & co-worker, Karen invited me to join them for a Painting With A Twist class. I don't normally do a lot during the week because you know I'm a mawmaw & need my sleep. What I've figured out is regardless of how much sleep I get I still want more so there was no reason not to go. We  met for dinner at Dempsey's & then headed over to the painting class.
Here we are with our creations - me, Allison, Karen & Shauna. It's amazing how good they look from a distance. Up close I don't think mine looks all that good but it was fun. I was in bed for 10:20 & was dead asleep at 5:30 this morning when it was time to get up. I believe the word "WHAT?" was uttered when Dean woke me up. No clue what was going on.

I've always had very vivid dreams. You know like the ones where I wake up & I'm taking pictures off my bulletin board (when I was in high school) or the time that I woke up holding onto my window sill because I was dreaming a wall was falling on me. Last night was about Allison's future niece, CC. I dreamed that I was gallivanting all over town looking for a baby yoga mat to give to Andrea (CC's current incubator). For some reason I was adamant about this. It would make a little sense if Andrea or I were really big Yogi's but we're not. WEIRD.

We don't have any plans this weekend. The LSU games are in Florida. I took this picture while at a red light on my way to work this morning.
Lovely right? Of course when I got to work it was raining harder than I've seen in awhile. It's cleared up but there's still a lot of rain in the forecast. Great. Hopefully I can go for a run at some point this weekend. I ran 3 miles Monday & was planning to go Wed. but it was cool & really windy & I just wasn't feeling it. Some days are just like that.

Have a good weekend!